Construction is an invaluable industry that helps to keep our roads safe. Its workers grow and refurbish our cities by renovating old buildings and erecting new ones. Unfortunately, this industry is also one of the most dangerous professions in the country. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that approximately 5,000 workers die in construction site accidents each year. Cranes, which are used to move and hoist heavy equipment, building parts, and building supplies, account for a large portion of those injuries.
Crane Accidents Often Catastrophic
Between 1992 and 2006, 307 fatal crane accidents were reported. In those accidents, 323 workers died, which averages out to approximately 22 deaths per year. Though the number seems small, it is the often catastrophic results of these accidents, and their rates of fatality, that make them so concerning. In fact, 12 of those fatal accidents led to multiple worker deaths. Furthermore, non-workers, such as pedestrians on the sidewalk, bicyclists on the street, and people driving in cars are often injured or killed as well. In short, crane accidents can wreak complete havoc on anyone and everyone in the area.
Common Causes of Crane Accident Deaths
Of the reported crane deaths, 102 were related to electrocution (32 percent). More than half of those were due to the crane cable coming into contact with an overhead power line. The rest were caused by contact between an overhead power line and an unspecified portion of the crane.
Another 68 of the fatalities were caused by crane collapse (21 percent). Unstable, uneven, icy, or otherwise dangerous surfaces accounted for 12 of these fatalities (20 percent). An overloaded crane accounted for 10 deaths (16 percent), and five cases were due to the crane shifting (8 percent). No information is provided on the remaining causes of crane collapses (56 percent).
Workers being struck by a part of the crane accounted for the majority of the remaining crane fatalities (59 total, or 18 percent). Nearly half of the workers killed were disassembling the crane when the accident happened, and 12 percent were lengthening it. All but seven incidents occurred because the crane boom or jib fell. Those remaining workers were injured by a swinging boom.
Understanding Your Rights
Though employers are supposed to carry workers’ compensation to ensure their employees are covered in the event of an injury, not all have sufficient coverage. Furthermore, the employer may not be the only one at fault. In fact, there may be many liable parties, which only further complicates the case for the surviving families of victims. To reduce their burden, and to ensure they receive fair compensation, the assistance of a skilled construction accident attorney is needed.
At Kinnally Flaherty Krentz Loran Hodge & Masur P.C., we understand the struggles that families face after losing a loved one. Backed by a proven track record of success and years of experience, we also know what it takes to fight against the teams of lawyers that construction companies often hire. Our Aurora, Illinois construction accident attorneys offer compassionate, aggressive, and comprehensive representation for your case and we are dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve. Learn more by calling 630-907-0909 today.